Is “Repeal and Replace” Over?
Remember the 2010 election, when Republicans rose to power claiming they would save Americans from the tyranny of forcing them into “government health care?” When the Tea Party rallied at Democratic town halls, shouting down sitting Congress people demanding that health care reform be repealed? And when the GOP said their number one priority after being elected would be to “repeal and replace,” voting to undo all of the administration’s new health care reform laws and instead pass a “common sense” health care plan that would actually save people from “death panels” and drop health care costs.
Yeah, I don’t know where that went, either. But according to Politico, not only is “repeal and replace” long gone, it’s probably never coming back. Other than an attempt to defund health care reform in April, there has been absolutely no movement to try and stop “Obamacare” by the new Republican majority, and there has been dead silence on any sort of actual health care plan to put in place instead (unless you count turning Medicare into a voucher system that won’t fully cover costs, of course.)
Allegedly, Republicans are admitting there are some aspects of reform that they actually do like, and don’t want to deal with the unpopularity of ending them: the inability to deny patients with preexisting conditions, or even the ability to let an adult child stay on his or her parents’ insurance until age 26 if he or she doesn’t have another option for a policy.
But could it be even simpler than that? Republicans won on running against reform. If they actually repealed and replaced, they could then be evaluated on their own plan. However, if no change is made, they can just run against health care reform again in 2012, this time saying “We couldn’t get it done because the Democrats blocked us. Vote for more Republicans to get our real policy!”
The danger of politics — if an issue makes for a good political football, don’t expect it to get fixed or changed. Instead, expect it to stay exactly how it is so politicians can continue to run on changing it.